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AccessAll Initiative

Use of the Internet is a privilege often taken for granted, but there are many families in America who don’t have access to the Internet. Access would greatly help them learn more about important topics such as money, health, education, jobs, child care and much more. Information like this can be accessed at websites like the Beehive (www.thebeehive.org). Low income families are especially in need of information of this variety, in order to better understand the factors that help them succeed in a technological and capitalist society. Rey Ramsey, CEO of One Economy: “Getting low-income Americans online is critically important to their economic well-being. Once online, they are more likely than upper-income Americans to use it to find a better job, get quality child care or help their children succeed in school. AT&T’s commitment to helping 50,000 families is extraordinary.”

With this in mind, AT&T, One Economy and Habitat for Humanity have come together to provide technology to 50,000 low-income families. Up to 10,000 of these families will reside in houses built by Habitat for Humanity. Volunteers have been recruited to help teach family members the basics of computers and the Internet. An Americorps VISTA (Volunteer In Service To America) with Habitat for Humanity Greater Columbus, Lindsay Miller, requested ECOS’ help with a phase of this project. 5 computers were scheduled to be installed in homes on March 1, but there was substantial work to be done on these computers before they were ready to be used by their new owners. The process included:

  • Installing additional memory
  • Installing Office, Beehive, Spybot and Adobe Flash
  • Registering Windows XP and Office
  • Downloading Windows updates
  • Removing some undesired programs

Emily Lui and Brandon Miller helped prepare these computers on February 22, 2008. Currently there are no more opportunities in this respect, but once new ones are made available, ECOS members will be notified. Please email us if you have questions about this project. Lastly, Habitat Columbus has often lent ECOS tools to help build two wheelchair ramps, so it was good to be able to return the favor, in a way. For more information on the AccessAll Initiative, check out this fact sheet: http://www.att.com/Common/files/pdf/accessall_gap.pdf